This weekend Katie Murphy, Brittnie Menze and I went on an adventure to Amsterdam. Obviously we did what any Americans would do… We went to Anne Frank’s house and the Heineken factory. When we first arrived to Central Station, Amsterdam, we had two things on our minds: 1) find our hostel and 2) find somewhere to eat. We found that the easiest way to get around was by taking the tram and walking. Bikes were another convenient way to get around and cheap to rent.
After a couple hours we found our hostel. It was in a very good location. It was next to a park, and in the middle of most of the main attractions. For a hostel it looked decent from the outside, and the inside was exactly what we paid for; but it sufficed for the weekend. The staff was most kind. The gentlemen at the reception desk gave us a map and pointed out a few places we might like to visit. As I said before, a place to eat was all we could think about. So we dropped off our bags and got back on the tram. We ended up eating at a place called the Carousel. We couldn’t resist; they were known for the pancakes and waffles! So what did we order? Burgers, of course, with a chocolate pancake for dessert.
After we satisfied our stomachs we spent the rest of the evening walking around and getting familiar with the town. The next day we woke up early and acted like tourists. When we left our hostel we went to the same place for breakfast. The Carousel just happened to be right next to the Heineken factory so this is where we went first. It was a good thing we went early due to the fact that it was starting to get busy. The Heineken Experience was one of a kind. There was so much to do! Katie and I ended up getting our very own bottle of Heineken with our names on it. Next you could enter a room and take goofy pictures or make a Heineken video. I would most defiantly recommend the Heineken factory to anyone who decides to travel to Amsterdam.
The factory took almost two hours to complete. Next on our list was Anne Frank’s house. When we arrived outside of the complex there was a rather large line, but it moved quite fast considering the amount of people. When we finally got our tickets chills ran up my back. I couldn’t believe I was actually entering Anne Frank’s house! All around the walls were quotes from her diary and as you went through different rooms there were videos and pictures to better explain what Anne and her family had to endure. Do you remember that long line of people mentioned? Well the inside was not any different. There were people everywhere. Needless to say the place was jam packed. I do have to say that this took away from the moment but at the same time it was amazing to see how many people cared and wanted to know more.
Everyone is aware that Amsterdam is partially famous for the Red Light District. Since we were a group of three girls for our own safety we decided to visit this part of the town during the daylight hours.
In the mist of everything we almost forgot to eat. We were coaxed into going to a restaurant with a fabulous steak special. We were informed that they have been grilling steaks for years so it had to be good, and that it was.
The rest of the night was relatively relaxing. On our way back to our hostel we did a little last minute shopping and went for a stroll in the park. We needed to get a taxi to our bus in order to catch our flight back to Dublin. None of us wanted to leave. It was our last night in Amsterdam and naturally this was when we got the hang of things. The next morning was kind of dysfunctional. Our bus was running late, we got to the airport JUST in time for our flight, I got stopped coming through customs, and my train ticket back to Westport was not working. After all of the craziness the three of us made it back to Louisburgh safe and sound.